The “unofficial” list of demands posted by LloydJHart on the Occupy Wall Street forum page got me to thinking and researching. For some things on the list of demands struck me as familiar. For example:
Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system.
Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.
Demand four: Free college education.
Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.
Demand thirteen: Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union.
Tap, tap, tap. Thinking, thinking, thinking. Where oh where have I seen or heard all these things lumped together? Think, think, think. Some of those things (especially gender equality!) seem like wonderful things! Universal healthcare- oh yes! But where oh where have I heard them before? So off I went searching.
And landed here
The right to work is ensured by the socialist organization of the national economy, the steady growth of the productive forces of Soviet society, the elimination of the possibility of economic crises, and the abolition of unemployment.ARTICLE 119. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to rest and leisure. The right to rest and leisure is ensured by the reduction of the working day to seven hours for the overwhelming majority of the workers, the institution of annual vacations with full pay for workers and employees and the provision of a wide network of sanatoria, rest homes and clubs for the accommodation of the working people.
ARTICLE 120. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to maintenance in old age and also in case of sickness or loss of capacity to work. This right is ensured by the extensive development of social insurance of workers and employees at state expense, free medical service for the working people and the provision of a wide network of health resorts for the use of the working people.
ARTICLE 121. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to education. This right is ensured by universal, compulsory elementary education; by education, including higher education, being free of charge; by the system of state stipends for the overwhelming majority of students in the universities and colleges; by instruction in schools being conducted in the native Ianguage, and by the organization in the factories, state farms, machine and tractor stations and collective farms of free vocational, technical and agronomic training for the working people.
ARTICLE 122. Women in the U.S.S.R. are accorded equal rights with men in all spheres of economic, state, cultural, social and political life. The possibility of exercising these rights is ensured to women by granting them an equal right with men to work, payment for work, rest and leisure, social insurance and education, and by state protection of the interests of mother and child, prematernity and maternity leave with full pay, and the provision of a wide network of maternity homes, nurseries and kindergartens.
ARTICLE 123. Equality of rights of citizens of the U.S.S.R., irrespective of their nationality or race, in all spheres of economic, state, cultural, social and political life, is an indefeasible law. Any direct or indirect restriction of the rights of, or, conversely, any establishment of direct or indirect privileges for, citizens on account of their race or nationality, as well as any advocacy of racial or national exclusiveness or hatred and contempt, is punishable by law.
Hmm. The 1936 Constitution of the USSR. Well it isn’t that bad right? Those are some lofty goals no? Equal rights for women, the right to work and rest and education and health care. All good things right?
Except those my age and older know how that worked out in the U.S.S.R. Definitely not a worker’s paradise- at all. Long lines for basic things like- oh let’s see- bread, potatoes and clothing. Everybody had housing- in state built projects. Lovely. Agriculture- the State took over all the land and formed collectives. Which promptly killed production. One of the best and biggest “bread basket” agricultural areas in the world- but they could not adequately feed their people. Factories that could not meet the government quotas. As for the healthcare- I seem to remember their “more equal than others” top party officials often used Western doctors. They also had Special stores and access to better goods for the political class. (Better goods often smuggled in from the West.) Nope- did not work out for the working class at all.
Now ask yourself- where in America can we find those same “rights” set out? Where are these protesters getting these ideas? There is an answer- and it may not be where you think.